Let's Talk about Syntax (NP: Topic Ideas etc)

If you're new to these arts, this is the place to ask "stupid" questions and get directions!
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Re: Let's Talk about Syntax (NP: Topic Ideas etc)

Post by thaen » 14 Oct 2014 20:51

Can we revive this thread?
:con: Nillahimma
:con: Øð!
:con: Coneylang

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ı θ ð ʃ ɲ ŋ ʔ ɛ ə ø ʑ ɕ ʷ ʲ ⁿ

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Re: Let's Talk about Syntax (NP: Topic Ideas etc)

Post by MrKrov » 14 Oct 2014 23:52

What do you want to add?

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Re: Let's Talk about Syntax (NP: Topic Ideas etc)

Post by thaen » 15 Oct 2014 00:00

Upon looking back through some of the earlier stuff, I realized I misunderstood the point of this thread. [:x] So, nevermind my last post, I s'pose.
:con: Nillahimma
:con: Øð!
:con: Coneylang

I am the Great Rabbit. Fear me, O Crabs!
Spoiler:
ı θ ð ʃ ɲ ŋ ʔ ɛ ə ø ʑ ɕ ʷ ʲ ⁿ

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Re: Let's Talk about Syntax (NP: Topic Ideas etc)

Post by roninbodhisattva » 17 Oct 2014 18:21

I'll eventually be back around and maybe do something with it. Very busy at the moment.

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Re: Let's Talk about Syntax (NP: Topic Ideas etc)

Post by OTʜᴇB » 19 May 2016 17:48

This hasn't been replied to in a while but I really do hope you're still working on this.

My first conlang crashed and burned because I skipped a LOT of grammatical features, most significantly prepositions and conjunctions, so this would be a perfect guide of things to remember to add and consider.

One thing I would really appreciate is if it were to use the specialist vocabulary but also explain it so that the non-linguists or the less experienced can benefit equally from it, particularly in the more basic topics. I am a total beginner to conlang-ing and having a resource like this would be like an infinite fountain of gold.
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Re: Let's Talk about Syntax (NP: Topic Ideas etc)

Post by Frislander » 19 May 2016 18:19

Imralu wrote: Even the non-finite verbs which normally go to the end can be fronted to the beginning of the clause.
Wow, I didn't know you could do that!

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Re: Let's Talk about Syntax (NP: Topic Ideas etc)

Post by Trebor » 01 Jul 2016 04:07

OTheB wrote:One thing I would really appreciate is if it were to use the specialist vocabulary but also explain it so that the non-linguists or the less experienced can benefit equally from it, particularly in the more basic topics. I am a total beginner to conlang-ing and having a resource like this would be like an infinite fountain of gold.
An excellent idea. I myself would like to ask for explanations of, e.g.,
roninbodhisattva wrote:- Linear order and hierarchical structure (i.e. syntax is not just word order)
...
- NP/DP Licensing and Case Theory
- Verb movement
- Theta Theory
- Binding theory
- Split VP hypothesis

...

- A vs A-bar movement and positions
...
- Clausal architecture (i.e. cartography)
- Long distance movement
But would not object to instruction on every matter. [:P] For instance, does "[d]ifferent types of alignments" refer to nominative-accusative, marked nominative, ergative-absolutive, split-nominative/ergative (e.g., Hindi), quirky case-marking (e.g., Icelandic), split-S, fluid-S, Austronesian, and whatever Kartvelian languages are up to?

Edit: Wording fixed.

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Re: Let's Talk about Syntax (NP: Topic Ideas etc)

Post by k1234567890y » 25 Jul 2016 10:48

OTheB wrote:This hasn't been replied to in a while but I really do hope you're still working on this.

My first conlang crashed and burned because I skipped a LOT of grammatical features, most significantly prepositions and conjunctions, so this would be a perfect guide of things to remember to add and consider.

One thing I would really appreciate is if it were to use the specialist vocabulary but also explain it so that the non-linguists or the less experienced can benefit equally from it, particularly in the more basic topics. I am a total beginner to conlang-ing and having a resource like this would be like an infinite fountain of gold.
it is actually not that problematic not to have adpositions, you can use serial verb construction to overcome it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_verb_construction

As for conjunctions, I think you can use phrases like "at the time", "before that", "after that", etc. to solve this problem.
...

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Re: Let's Talk about Syntax (NP: Topic Ideas etc)

Post by Imralu » 27 Jul 2016 03:13

Frislander wrote:
Imralu wrote: Even the non-finite verbs which normally go to the end can be fronted to the beginning of the clause.
Wow, I didn't know you could do that!
There are posters up around here at the moment that say "Chillen kann man zu Hause"
Glossing Abbreviations: COMP = comparative, C = complementiser, ACS / ICS = accessible / inaccessible, GDV = gerundive, SPEC / NSPC = specific / non-specific, AG = agent, E = entity (person, animal, thing)
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Re: Let's Talk about Syntax (NP: Topic Ideas etc)

Post by k1234567890y » 29 Jul 2016 00:36

Imralu wrote:
Frislander wrote:
Imralu wrote: Even the non-finite verbs which normally go to the end can be fronted to the beginning of the clause.
Wow, I didn't know you could do that!
There are posters up around here at the moment that say "Chillen kann man zu Hause"
wow, looks like non-finite verbs in (Standard) German are not that strictly word-final, maybe they are actually similar to adverbs in some aspects?
...

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Re: Let's Talk about Syntax (NP: Topic Ideas etc)

Post by Chagen » 30 Jul 2016 07:53

Khemehekis wrote:Are there any correlations between a language having or lacking WH-fronting and other characteristics of said language?
This makes me think: does the concept of wh-fronting make sense in a language with relatively free word order (due to, say, cases)? If I have a language with free word order, but wh-words usually are first in the sentence, does that count as wh-fronting? After all, any word (except maybe the verb) could be first, so I'd personally view that more as emphasizing the wh-word by placing it first.
Nūdenku waga honji ma naku honyasi ne ika-ika ichamase!
female-appearance=despite boy-voice=PAT hold boy-youth=TOP very be.cute-3PL
Honyasi zō honyasi ma naidasu.
boy-youth=AGT boy-youth=PAT love.romantically-3S

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Re: Let's Talk about Syntax (NP: Topic Ideas etc)

Post by k1234567890y » 30 Jul 2016 09:39

it seems that wh-movement normally exists in VO languages, including SVO and VSO languages, or at least languages allowing verbs to come before objects.
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Re: Let's Talk about Syntax (NP: Topic Ideas etc)

Post by Adarain » 30 Jul 2016 14:23

Chagen wrote: This makes me think: does the concept of wh-fronting make sense in a language with relatively free word order (due to, say, cases)? If I have a language with free word order, but wh-words usually are first in the sentence, does that count as wh-fronting? After all, any word (except maybe the verb) could be first, so I'd personally view that more as emphasizing the wh-word by placing it first.
It does, because wh-fronting causes a disconnect in NP structure. For example, in the sentence What is she talking about?, the "what" is subordinate to the "about", so you'd expect them to stay together even if the sentence-wide word order is very free.
At kveldi skal dag lęyfa,
Konu es bręnnd es,
Mæki es ręyndr es,
Męy es gefin es,
Ís es yfir kømr,
Ǫl es drukkit es.

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Re: Let's Talk about Syntax (NP: Topic Ideas etc)

Post by k1234567890y » 30 Jul 2016 18:45

Adarain wrote:
Chagen wrote: This makes me think: does the concept of wh-fronting make sense in a language with relatively free word order (due to, say, cases)? If I have a language with free word order, but wh-words usually are first in the sentence, does that count as wh-fronting? After all, any word (except maybe the verb) could be first, so I'd personally view that more as emphasizing the wh-word by placing it first.
It does, because wh-fronting causes a disconnect in NP structure. For example, in the sentence What is she talking about?, the "what" is subordinate to the "about", so you'd expect them to stay together even if the sentence-wide word order is very free.
however, in many languages, adpositions can't simply be separated from the nouns they come with?
...

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Re: Let's Talk about Syntax (NP: Topic Ideas etc)

Post by MrKrov » 30 Jul 2016 22:58

You phrase that like a question, but yes, the whole phrase moving is a thing.

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Re: Let's Talk about Syntax (NP: Topic Ideas etc)

Post by Ser » 08 Dec 2017 18:36

MrKrov wrote:
30 Jul 2016 22:58
You phrase that like a question, but yes, the whole phrase moving is a thing.
I think k1234567890y has made a very good question here (which I had never thought about). It is a thing in languages like French (A quoi est-ce que tu t'intéresses ? 'What are you interested in?'), but is it a thing in a language like Latin, where both of the things that k1234567890y mentioned apply? Classical Latin has largely free constituent word order, so, even though the interrogative pronoun in content questions is almost always found at the beginning, this is like fronting any other constituent. Therefore there's not as much of a reason to pose wh-movement with a trace.

Classical Latin actually has a further rule where a preposition must be placed after an interrogative pronoun, but that doesn't change the problem anyway.

Quid fecisti?
what.ACC do.PRF.2SG
'What did you do?'

Qua de re loquitur?
what.ABL about thing.ABL talk.PRES.3SG
'What is she talking about?'

Loquitur de marito suo. (~ De marito suo loquitur.)
talk.PRES.3SG about husband.ABL 3.POSS.ABL
'She is talking about her husband.'


I have been told that Dirk Panhuis's Latin grammar (2009), which I haven't read, addresses a lot of issues that come up when applying modern syntax to Latin. Maybe someone could check what it says about wh-movement if they have access to it?

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